Sixty-eight-year-old Freddie Tassin is cleaning out his New Orleans home alone — which is how a lot of residents here say they're feeling these days.
“Sometime I get angry,” Tassin says. “Then I get frustrated, then I get sad.”
Three months after the storm, there's no official plan to rebuild and no outline for what it will cost. Instead, there's debate over who should run the schools, who should get the loans and, lately, whether a city below sea level should be rebuilt at all.
New Orleans Times-Picayune writer Jarvis DeBerry opened his column Tuesday morning asking, “I wonder what New Orleans did to the rest of the country that makes them hate us so?”
“It's very insulting and condescending,” says DeBerry, “to suggest that New Orleans, because of our geography, is somehow not worth the effort that would be put into San Francisco, Miami or Chicago or Boston or any other great city.”
At a pizza parlor on Magazine Street, owner Ted Neikerk thinks the talk of giving up is way out of line.
“I think a lot of people are just reacting, knee-jerk reaction right now, saying, ‘Enough of New Orleans.’ But it’s too good of a city to give up on that fast.”
Many still cling to President Bush’s promise of not so long ago.
“There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans,” said the president on Sept. 15. “This city will rise again.”
But Freddie Tassin fears the talk of rebuilding was just that.
“It seems,” he says, “they just want to forget about us."
And so he keeps cleaning — all by himself.